Our Hair and Nail dilemma

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Industry

Just imagine my dissatisfaction at the fact that “almost” an entire industry is geared towards making money by sacrificing our nails and hair.

I started braiding my own hair maybe fifteen years ago, prior to that I would go to personal stylists who were exceptional but costly. I started learning how to do my own braided extensions and crochet braids. It was a journey because along the way I observed so much and was so dismayed about the industry trends concerning natural hair.

Community Initiatives Needed

Many black women own salons but many are refusing to bring their salon up to standard and keep the quality on par with competitors in other communities.  Plus everyone else who own services for the black woman,  wants our money, exploits the community and do not provide any services to rival the money we spend.

Asian businesses only resell hair and products, and they sell you anything. The don’t care if it is good for our hair or not. There is no education, just stock. Another prevelant and disturbing issue is blatant disrespect for women of color by the asian business owners, and refusal to empower the community they service with employment. More recently I’ve seen these businesses are in fact hiring women of color into their businesses. Kudos to them but it seems the employment is usually as a store clerk, very rarely positions in management, financials, etc. but it’s a start.  Let’s see some improvement please.

hair-products

I would like to see a vast improvement of this is the Asian beauty salons.   100% of their staff are generally Asians and most are freshly immigrated, barely any English and loads of back talking to customers in another language. As significant as we are to business owners financially, then customer service should be radically improved as well as employment to re-circulate in our own communities.

Personal Experiences

I’ve had to cease going to one salon in Brooklyn and more recently another here in Queens, NY due to substandard conditions, poor communication, hygiene and here’s the kicker, the stylist refusal to stop drilling my nails. I saw a marked weakening of my nails and inquired,  but was told it had something to do with my nails. So I decided to do a little experiment, as I’m primed to doing whenever hogwash is thrown my way, you see? So I went maybe six months or nine without salons. I removed all nail polish, filed my own nails and did clear only. Of course my nails restored to their original strength and beauty. Foolish me, wanting to have the glitz and fancy, went back again and behold my nails started weakening again. I brought it to the owner’s attention and again they refused to stop using drills.

Dangerous Tools

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Drills increase productivity and profit. They can work faster and therefore turn over more customers and ultimately make more money bottom line. No one but the health department can enforce this madness.  I won’t get into the negative effects of the nail drying techniques using the acrylics and gel.  Consistent and long-term use of these ultraviolet light may not contradict our original intent, which is to take care of ourselves, look our best but these methods of application and drying may not be the most holistic.  I’ve attached a  link to research and educate on the dangers of the gel method and perhaps other alternatives to get beautiful nails  Potential dangers to Gel polish

But ladies just think about your nails and how much money you are pouring into having acrylics, gels and tips. Is it worth it? Try it for 30 60 days and free yourself of the financial burden of keeping your own nails beautiful – except under the surface your nails are a hot mess.

We just want to be naturally  beautiful

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Our hair is an entirely different story.  The industry has to improve overall. These businesses if they are going to operate in our community have to be vested there as well. Only you can impact on this issue ladies.  Want change and better yet empower your community more.  Start by ensuring  your local businesses are hiring local girls, banking in your community and supporting community endeavors. You will see their true colors soon enough.  We can be beautiful without compromising our natural selves, while empowering our communities,  by ensuring some basic rules are established and followed.

Crystal

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Current Events affecting the African Communities.

DIASPORA

 

First of all, I say communities because there are so many, we are a diaspora.  We come from different places, with divergent issues.  I am from the Caribbean, but I know blacks from South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, America, etc.  We each have different issues and different perspectives.  My point of view of current events affecting the African communities is within the confines of America.

MENTAL SLAVERY

We are constantly being duped into believing we are :

  1. lazy
  2. without financial hope
  3. overly religious
  4. sports oriented and not academically inclined
  5. baby mamas and pimps
  6. incapable of thinking for ourselves, in other words we need a boss

Well, we know none of this is true.  There are exceptions of course, as with any other community of people, regardless of their ethnicity.

STEREOTYPES

These stereotypes are extremely dangerous for us as a people.  We have to be aware, educated, and conscious of what’s happening in the world around us.  We have to realize that we have just the same power, imagination, brain, and capabilities just like everyone else.  DO NOT BELIEVE THE HYPE.

ORDINARY THINGS

nothing in life can be achieved unless you put something into it.  If you are working without investing then that’s all you are doing, working.  Re-think that strategy perhaps.  Start a small investment fund, a business, even if it is home-based.    These  are a few ideas you can reap the benefits of, without burdening yourself.

Whatever religious affiliation you may have, ensure they are re-investing in your community and not taking your money elsewhere.  Look at the banks with which they are aligned.  Ask questions about where they are using the funds you’ve tithed and offered.

Education doesn’t necessarily have to be in the form of a college degree.  Read, explore, discuss, investigate, ask questions and don’t be afraid to open your mind while staying grounded to yourself and your community.  Don’t lose focus.

Demand more services for your own community, guess what?  It’s your community!  The politicians and powers that be, expect you to be silent.  Surprise them and use your voice whether that be vocally or with your pen and paper, computer, etc.  Just speak up for what you want.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Don’t let social media dissaude you from being a good citizen or person. Your life matters, make a difference and change the negativity.  We live in a world of good and bad, that’s just a fact.  Once we start changing, realigning, refocusing then the imageries on social media will also change.  We have to  remember where we came from and where we are going.  Where are you going without financial stability, credible finances and a strong foundation on which to stand.  Not just for yourself, but your future selves.

NETWORKING

This is the big N word for me.  We can’t get far if we aren’t resourced up, and in order to know where we are going, we need to follow the lead of great people. Reach out without malice to the black businesses and find out where you fit in.  Most are willing to give back but are afraid of  negativity.  They have to maneuver murky, shark infested waters, just like you and I, so let’s be tolerant and supportive.  Networking can sometimes be confusing, especially to individuals who don’t get the concept, and the long term benefits.  It’s about relationship and wealth building.  It’s not just about you now, more so than it is about you later.  Not the present you, but rather the future you – your children many generations from now.  Think about that.

Continue reading “Current Events affecting the African Communities.”